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Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule

Lesson 1: Who is Affected?

The final rule applies to two groups:

Regulated Entities

CROMERR applies to persons or entities that submit electronic reports or documents in lieu of paper, to EPA under Title 40 when they are the regulated entity.

Example of a regulated entity

Entities Acting as a Regulator for an EPA Program

States, tribes, or local governments that administer authorized programs under Title 40 that receive or wish to receive electronic reports or documents in lieu of paper.

Example of an entity acting as a regulator for an EPA program

In Lieu of Paper

An electronic report is considered to be submitted in lieu of paper when it takes the place of a paper report submitted to satisfy the requirements under another part of 40 CFR.

In some states, the electronic reporting is done to make data collection and management easier, but the state requires that each report submitted electronically also be submitted as a signed paper copy. In this case, the electronic submission would not be in lieu of paper and CROMERR does not apply to the state.

Some electronic reporting systems use a combined approach, where part or all of the data are submitted only electronically, but a wet ink signature on paper is also required. In these cases, the e-report (or at least the portions of it that are not also submitted on paper) is considered to be submitted in lieu of paper and CROMERR applies.

In addition, there are special CROMERR rules under 40 CFR 3.2000(a) that govern the use of a wet ink signature on paper in conjunction with an e-report. (Additional detail on this combined approach is provided in Lesson 6.)

Regulated Entity Example

For example, 40 CFR 51.211 requires that operators of stationary sources of air emissions, such as power plants, must periodically report those emissions. If a regulated entity submits this report electronically directly to EPA, it is subject to CROMERR.

Entity Acting as a Regulator Example

The Clean Water Act (CWA) Program is an example of how states, tribes, or local governments can act as a regulator for an EPA program. The CWA gives EPA the authority to set effluent limits on an industry-wide (technology-based) basis and on a water-quality basis. These limits will ensure protection of the receiving water. The CWA requires anyone who wants to discharge pollutants to first obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

The CWA allows EPA to authorize the NPDES Permit Program to state governments, enabling states to perform many of the permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the NPDES Program.

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